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Kelly Loeffler

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., have introduced legislation to empower immigration judges to crack down on illegal immigrants trying to subvert the law.

The senators introduced the Immigration Court Efficiency (ICE) Act to give immigration judges the authority to hold immigrants who fail to appear for proceedings in contempt of court and to issue bench warrants for the arrest of these individuals. Loeffler and Cotton also sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Justice to allow immigration judges to dismiss immigration cases found to be without merit, in order to address the backlog of 1.2 million cases in the immigration court system.

“For years, Congressional Democrats have ignored the glaring problems with our immigration system and failed to come to the table on a tangible solution,” Loeffler said. “This has inflamed illegal immigration and left immigration courts overwhelmed. With a backlog of 1.2 million cases before immigration courts, there are too many in limbo that must be prosecuted. By empowering immigration judges to expedite cases and hold illegal immigrants who fail to appear in contempt, those who try to skirt the law will be held accountable. We must stop those who come into our country illegally and ensure justice is swift.”

“Each year, tens of thousands of immigrants disappear into the United States rather than show up for their immigration court hearings,” said Cotton. “Our bill empowers immigration court judges to enforce the rule of law and have these criminals detained. This bill and our suggested regulatory changes will make the immigration court system more efficient and reduce the backlog for immigration petitions.”

On Aug. 4, Loeffler and Cotton introduced the Holding Rioters Accountable Act of 2020 to grant authority to the U.S. Attorney General to reduce certain DOJ grants and funding to jurisdictions where state and local prosecutors are abusing prosecutorial discretion and failing to prosecute crimes arising from riots and other violent protests. Loeffler also introduced the Securing Commerce and Protecting Businesses Act of 2020 to make it a federal crime to destroy certain commercial property or loot commercial businesses during the course of a riot.

In July, Loeffler introduced the Cracking Down on Gangs and Deporting Criminals Act of 2020 to strengthen federal sentencing guidelines for criminal gang activity and create a federal database for criminal street gang activity within the U.S. Department of Justice.

These bills are part of Loeffler’s USA Safe Families and Secure Futures Plan, a framework to keep America safe and secure from both foreign and domestic threats.

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